John Laurinaitis bungled his lines last night and generally looked sheepish, embarrassing himself in front of the viewers who tuned in to Raw. He tripped over his lines and looked like he was trying too hard to get a reaction from the crowd.
It was awful to the point where it couldn't even be called acting.
And that is perfect.
Last night, Laurinaitis didn't do anything but be himself. While that has made him one of the most ridiculed characters in the WWE, it also has worked as a storyline.
CM Punk is a great character and for the most part is just being himself. Pierced, tattooed, straight edge and vocal, he represents a lot of the current generation and is what D Generation X was in the '90s.
Laurinaitis is a corporate slug who does whatever he needs to to survive.
Laurinaitis isn't putting on an act, but he is turning his personality and certain traits up about a thousand-fold. No one would really act like that in a corporate infrastructure and ever make it. They would have to be more subtle about it and only act at key moments.
He knows what he is and he is willing to put it on display for the entirety of the WWE audience to see.
Fans may roll their eyes at his antics and his lack of acting, but it is perfect as a contrast. He is a terrible performer and a total sellout. If they had placed him in any other role, it would have failed.
Punk, on the other hand, has stuck to his guns while being with the WWE for over half a decade.
They both have achieved success, but Punk did it through talent and perseverance while Laurinaitis did it by selling out.
Last night he sold not the character, but the amplified version of himself when he got down on his knees and put chap stick on his lips, ready to degrade himself.
It would have been a physical example of something he has done for years.
It may not be the best acting job that fans have ever seen, but it is something close to reality and portrayed by a man who is willing to let people seem him in a certain light.
If that isn't a company man then the term doesn't exist.
It may not make him the villain fans love, but Laurinaitis is doing something right for the company.
It just took him a while.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.
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